WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court refused Friday to let Texas challenge the election results in four battleground states critical to President Donald Trump’s defeat at the polls last month, likely sealing his political fate.
“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections,” the court said in a brief order. It dismissed all other related claims as moot.
The justices’ action clears the way for electors to convene in 50 states and the District of Columbia Monday and all but confirm that President-elect Joe Biden will be the nation’s 46th president.
Texas had made, and Trump had endorsed, an 11th-hour effort to have the nation’s highest court block Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin from casting their electoral votes for Biden Monday. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton claimed the four states used the coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to change election rules and greatly expand mail voting in violation of the Constitution.
Within days, the last-ditch challenge had erupted into a war involving nearly every state in the nation. The four battleground states fired back, with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro labeling the effort to negate millions of citizens’ ballots a “seditious abuse of the judicial process.”
“Texas seeks to invalidate elections in four states for yielding results with which it disagrees,” Shapiro told the justices in legal papers. “Its request for this court to exercise its original jurisdiction and then anoint Texas’s preferred candidate for president is legally indefensible and is an affront to principles of constitutional democracy.”
Reacting to the decision, Shapiro said the high court’s “swift denial should make anyone contemplating further attacks on our election think twice.”
The effort was a long shot for several reasons. States run their own elections, making it a violation of sovereignty for Texas to interfere with other states’ procedures. Federal law defers to states in choosing the 538 electors, and Congress ultimately counts those votes.
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Source: USA Today